20th November 2020
We're powering Energy House 2.0: a cutting-edge smart home research facility
Phil Steele, Future Technologies Evangelist
We’re working together with the University of Salford to create the ‘energy house’ of the future. The lab will contain four fully-constructed Victorian houses, hooked up with cutting edge smart tech, from solar panels to smart car chargers, and will be capable of simulating a staggering array of weather conditions, from scorching 40 degree sun to real snowfall. Energy House 2 will be the largest and most advanced lab of its kind anywhere in the world, allowing researchers and innovators like us to steam ahead with crucial experiments that will define tomorrow’s greener, smarter homes.
Decarbonisation, decarbonisation, decarbonisation
The way we generate and consume energy is changing, and it’s changing fast. With electric cars and electric heating on the rise, and more and more people working from home, domestic electricity consumption is increasing rapidly.
So why is this good news? Well first it shows that we are beginning to move away from gas and dirty fossil fuels, but it also allows us to move towards an all electric energy system that leverages green electrons when they are abundant; a system that makes energy cheaper for everyone; a system that helps us fast-track to a net zero world.
Transport and heat are still among the largest carbon emitting sectors. To decarbonise these sectors fast enough to stop climate change, we need to adopt clean energy technologies such as EVs and heat pumps and move to a smart grid quickly.
Where do we fit in?
Octopus Energy is leading this change. We’re continuously creating new solutions to drive the green energy revolution in our homes and on our streets. On this journey we often join forces with like-minded organisations to bring together the very best in their fields and accelerate the development and adoption of innovative technologies that will help to tackle climate change.
Introducing Energy House 2.0
Among these partners is the University of Salford, one of the most forward-thinking research institutions in the UK and home to the brains behind the world’s first all-weather control home energy research lab – Energy House 2.0.
Energy House 2.0 is a £16 million test laboratory in which a team of energy and environment experts from the University of Salford is trying to work out what low-carbon, affordable homes will look like in the future.
The research facility will house two furnished homes within two giant chambers. A state-of-the-art heating, ventilating and air conditioning system will then allow scientists to create different types of weather within the chambers - whether that’s snow, rain, wind or sunshine. Temperatures can be dropped to a frosty -20°C or raised to a balmy 40°C, meaning environmental conditions experienced by 95 per cent of the world’s population can be replicated.
Energy House 2.0 will be a major research facility in the UK and the only one of its kind in the world. So we’re incredibly excited to be one of the main partners of this project.
Octopus Energy will supply the lab with our fabulous 100% green electricity. Our future-technologies experts will also equip the four houses with Octopus’s ground-breaking time-of-use tariffs and cutting-edge smart hardware, including smart meters, in-home displays, solar panels, heat pumps, and vehicle-to-grid (V2G) solutions (which allow customers to store greener energy in their car’s battery and then sell that power back to the grid when demand is high and grid energy is more carbon intensive).
There is no doubt - Energy House 2.0 will shape the homes of the future. It’s a truly unique research facility that will bring the UK to net carbon zero quicker and help alleviate fuel poverty at the same time.
Construction has now begun at Energy House 2.0. The official opening of the research lab is scheduled for March 2022, so stay tuned.
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